As Josh and I have been saving for a house over the past year, I never thought a holiday would be on the cards this summer. That was until we got knocked back with our mortgage and it was then that we decided we needed a well deserved break, away from the worries and stresses of ‘grown up’ life. After much deliberation, we came to the decision that Barcelona was the next city we wanted to tick off our travel bucket list. A city with plenty to do, guaranteed weather, cultural history, a beach and some tasty Spanish tapas! After visiting Rome earlier this year for 4 days and 3 nights, I learnt a lot about preparing myself for a short break away and what the do’s and don’ts are.
When it comes to visiting new places, I always do my research first. I will troll Instagram, looking at the best eateries and most instagrammable places in the area. I use TripAdvisor to help me decide which hotel I will be staying in before booking anything, assuring me that I am near the night life and a short walk from the beach.
Knowing your stuff before you travel definitely helps and ensures that you fit in everything you want to see in the short time of space you are there.
I would recommend purchasing a little pocket guide book to keep with you whilst you are on your travels too. I treated myself to a lonely planet guide book of Barcelona, which has helped me plan my 5 days there.
When it comes to packing for a holiday, I am one of those typical girls who will throw everything in my wardrobe in to my suitcase, with no intentions of wearing most things but will always subconsciously be telling myself that I may perhaps need my favourite sweater in case of emergency!
As we were trying to save as much money as possible, I opted for hand luggage only which limits the size and weight of my suitcase, therefore restricts how many items of clothing and pairs of shoes I can actually take a long to Barcelona with me. Below, are some of my top tips for clever packing:
- Plan your outfits – To help me decide what items of clothing make the cut for my short vacation, I lie everything that I plan on taking with me, out in front of me. Bare in mind what it is you will actually be doing on your trip and use that as a guide as what you will need to be taking with you.
- Roll your clothes – I’ve found a great space saving technique when it comes to packing but not only is it space saving it also helps minimise the chances of your clothes creasing. There is nothing worse than throwing on a crumpled dress!
- Get a suitable handbag – As well as your suitcase, opt for a suitable bag to keep your passport, camera, make up etc. Make sure there are enough compartments so your travel documents are at hand when needed without everything else falling out of your bag too. I hate panicking because I think my passport has been lost or stolen but really it’s just hidden underneath the rest of my crap in the bottom of my bag!
Make sure you have all of the vital travel documents printed and set aside ready for when you leave. I always spend time checking my emails and printing out my flight details and hotel booking just incase there are any problems.
Check that your passport is in date and will be for the duration of your stay.
Plan your journey to and from the airport, is there a public bus? A metro link? How much is a private taxi?
Double check your travelling times, dates and names. You don’t want to be left embarrassed when you turn up late for your flight or your hotel was booked for the following month.
Check in online if you can. Most companies now allow you to check in online 30 days before your departure. Print out the documents you need and you’re ready to go! It saves hassle when you get to the airport.
There are some holiday essentials that I cannot go away without, important things, you know, like…
- St Ives face scrub
- A nude lipstick
- Comfy pair of shoes
- Hair straighteners
- Eyebrow gel
- Sun cream
- Tanning oil
These are my essentials but I’m sure yours will be totally different! I make a list of the things that I 100% need with me, so that I’m not left heartbroken when I get there and discover I left them on the chest of drawers!